Radio Times blocked by blundering Premier League legal action

The Premier League won a High Court injunction to make ISPs block the internet protocol address

The Radio Times website has been blocked, along with those of football clubs and many others as a result of the Premier League's legal spat with a copyright infringing site.

The Premier League won a High Court injunction to make ISPs block the internet protocol address used by Sweden-based First Row Sports, which offers web users unauthorised streams of football games.

But other websites use the same IP address so they have been cut off from their users as a result of users' ISPs blocking them.The BBC says the problem occurs when users type in "radiotimes.com" for instance, rather than the full "www.radiotimes.com" address, or when they drop the "www" from any other affected sites.

Ben Preston, editor of the BBC-owned Radio Times, told the BBC: "It's outrageous that our website has been suddenly switched off and our users wrongly informed that it's to protect against copyright infringement.

"The Premier League seems to be behaving like the worst sort of blundering striker who's forgotten the first rule of football - check you're at the right end before you shoot."

Other sites affected by the block include football clubs Blackburn Rovers, Reading and Brentford, along with others covering other subjects.

The High Court said the Premier League had to inform the ISPs which IP addresses were being used by First Row, which is what it did. The ISPs then added them to a black-list without having any obligation to check them.

The ISPs, including BT and Virgin, now say they are lifting the block, but the Premier League has warned ISPs they cannot act unilaterally without breaking the court order.

A Premier League spokesman told the BBC: "The court order that requires internet service providers to block this website clearly states that any issues they have in implementing the block must be raised with the Premier League before taking any further action.

"The fact remains that the High Court has ordered an injunction requiring ISPs to block First Row Sports and we will continue to implement it and expect the ISPs to respect the ruling."

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